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Consumer Warning: Faulty Circuit Breakers Can Cause Fires

Your home’s circuit breaker is designed to prevent an electrical overload or short circuit by cutting off the flow of electricity when a circuit becomes overloaded. If the breaker doesn’t trip, the increasing current can cause the wires and enclosure to overheat, igniting a fire.

If your home was built twenty or more years ago, it may have a faulty circuit breaker. The defective breakers were made by Federal Pacific Electric and Sylvania/Zinsco. They are mostly found in Chicago area homes built prior to 1990.

Federal Pacific Electric circuit breakers have a condition that can cause them to not trip, allowing a dangerous overload condition that causes the wiring to overheat. Sylvania/Zinsco circuit breakers have a manufacturing defect that causes electrical arcing and overheating, which can destroy the integrity of the unit. These circuit breaker defects have led to numerous fires over the years.

If you have a Zinsco or Federal Pacific panel, or are buying an older home in the Chicago area, call ABC. Our licensed electricians are trained to identify the defective breakers and will inspect your electrical panel to ensure it is safe and not one of the defective units.

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